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Retail Spaces Converting to Healthcare Facilities: GIO Tile Looks at Successful Retail-to-Healthcare Renovation Projects

With millions of square feet of office and retail space sitting vacant across the country, some major healthcare providers are converting these vacant buildings into healthcare facilities.

In addition to the obvious–potential cost savings for the providers (the savings versus new construction can be significant, up to 30%)–adaptive reuse is seen by many as an effective way of reducing urban sprawl and environmental impact.

Though adapting retail and office buildings into healthcare facilities often has its advantages–such as prime location, speed to market and access to new patient populations–these projects can often present unique challenges such as security issues, high noise levels, inefficient HVAC systems, low ceiling heights and unsuitable window placements, to name a few. And then there are the unknowns–things that simply cannot be planned for in adaptive-reuse projects.

Some building professionals are convinced that building new is always more economical, and renovation is universally more expensive. But even though economic costs will certainly differ from project to project, and conversions may be more complicated than anticipated, there are a number of adaptive reuse success stories and we’re going to take a look at two of them.

Vanderbilt Medical Center at One Hundred Oaks Mall, Nashville Tennessee

Originally built in the 1960’s, Nashville’s 800,000 square foot One Hundred Oaks Mall was in serious decline.

Fifteen months of remodeling (including building out all the extra plumbing, HVAC and electrical) had its challenges. All the work went on just above the ceiling of  existing retailers, but the end result is a fully rejuvenated, mixed-use medical office center that brings top-tier medical care to the suburbs. Additionally, the transformation spurred the in-place retailers to remodel. Likewise, new restaurants came on board, resulting in a wholly successful revitalization project.

100 Oaks before
Before the conversion: the mall had fallen into disrepair despite experiencing two major overhauls.
100 Oaks after
Today the once aging mall is renovated into a successful, mixed-use medical office and retail destination.

Maplewood Spine Clinic, Maplewood, Minnesota

A former outdoor recreation store offered a great location in the heart of the clinic’s main patient base with close proximity to one of the system’s hospitals, but the challenges included a lack of windows and a badly located entry that created a concern about travel distance for patients. The design team solved the natural light problem with skylights and broke up the long interior spaces with interesting fixtures, millwork, and finishes on walls and ceilings. To solve the entry issue, clinical areas were strategically sited to keep travel distances short for the most vulnerable patients.

Research conducted a year after the new clinic opened  showed that patient visits jumped from 22 per day to 59 per day after a year, with monthly revenue hitting $357,000 over $139,000 during that time. And as an added bonus, the community is pleased with the conversion.

Maplewood Spine Clinic before
Lack of light was the greatest challenge of relocating the clinic into this former outdoor recreation store.
Maplewood Spind Clinic after
The design team solved the natural light problem with skylights and broke up the long interior spaces with interesting fixtures, millwork, and finishes on walls and ceilings.

The repurposing of existing office and retail buildings to accommodate medical offices and services is an option that is gaining favor nationwide. These conversions offer opportunities for both the healthcare provider and the patient. Not only is it cost-effective, but it’s a way to bring healthcare services closer to the community and patient base.


GIO brings you a carefully curated selection of tile and stone products developed expressly for your commercial design projects. Our looks cover a range of styles to transform commercial spaces– from retail and restaurants to hospitals and hospitality, we’ve assembled an assortment of collections in styles befitting the gamut of spaces you may be called to design. Turn to us for the latest solutions in architectural surfacing for your projects. We’re here to work with you!


Tile Trends: GIO Tile Looks at the Growing Popularity of Matte Tiles

Bright, shiny tiles are timeless and classic; you know they’ll never go out of style. However, we’re definitely seeing a rising trend in commercial and residential design towards using tiles with matte finishes. In response to the number of inquiries we’re receiving lately concerning matte tiles, we’re offering a look at when, where and how you might want to use them in your commercial applications.

The Look

The soft, often powdery, finish of matte tiles can lend character to any space. Though perhaps an obvious choice for creating a natural or rustic look, matte finished tiles are a great choice for chic, modern spaces, too. Far from appearing flat, matte tiles can actually look “velvety,” creating a rich, indulgent effect with dynamic visual appeal.

For ultra modern sophistication, choose matte tiles in gray, charcoal or black.

Workshop by GIO
Workshop by GIO in Matte Charcoal

The ever-popular subway tile takes on a whole new look in a larger format with a matte finish. The subdued, low-luster finish sets it apart from its glossy cousins, creating a look that’s clean, yet soft.

Retro by GIO
Retro By GIO in 4′ x 16″ Bone Matte

Advantages of Matte Tiles and Where to Use Them

Traffic by GIO
Matte tiles have high skid, dirt and scratch resistance–making them a an ideal choice for many commercial applications.

Matte tiles can be used anywhere to create a stylish look. Because many matte finishes enhance slip resistance, they are a good choice for floors that could become slippery such as bathrooms, kitchens, entryways, patios and porches–unlike the high gloss tiles that are not suited for floor installations.

In addition to having good traction, some matte tiles can make dirt less visible, offering a smart option for high traffic areas, such as entryways, lobbies, restaurants and retail spaces. For countertops and walls, matte tiles have the advantage of higher resistance to scratching, and as an added bonus, they are less prone to show fingerprints!

Gio_Thin 1.0 Tile for floors, wall and countertops
GIO _Thin 1.0 in Pure Matte Black is on-trend, yet practical for floors, walls and countertops.


Whether bright or matte, every GIO commercial tile is designed with fashion-forward style and engineered for superior performance. We not only know tile, but we also deeply understand the needs of interior designers, architects, and commercial product specifiers. Turn to us for the latest solutions in architectural surfacing for your projects.  We’re here to work with you!


Bigger Is (Sometimes) Better: The Forever Classic Subway Tile Has A New Look


NY SubwayA Brief History of Subway Tile

Long recognized for its durability and ease of care, ceramic tile was a natural choice for the walls of the New York Subway system which opened in 1904. The shiny white tile was selected for its durability and stain resistance, and the light color and high gloss made it a good choice to brighten the dark, subterranean spaces. This underground transit system can be credited with helping to popularize the use of these tiles in subways around the world. The material’s clean lines, enduring nature, and low maintenance requirements allowed it to emerge from the underground tunnels into our bathrooms and kitchens, where it has remained a popular surfacing choice for over a hundred years.

The Subway Tile Resurgence

Freestyle Subway Tiles in Purple
A fresh take on subway tile: Freestyle Bright and Decoria by GIO in 5″ x 7″

Though subway tiles have been a staple of kitchen and bath design for decades, with the traditional brick-patterned 3″ x  6″ white rectangles being a perennial go-to, the tiles have seen a huge resurgence in popularity in the first decade of the 21st century. But as with many classics, it’s often the twist we place on “expected” materials that gives the designs longevity. We now see subway tiles in every color imaginable, often with contrasting grout, and we’re no longer obligated to arrange them in a traditional brick (offset) pattern–herringbone, crosshatch and even straight-set are just a few of the ways designers have been adding interest and dimension to subway tile installations.

The Latest Spin: Big Is In!

Retro 4" x 16" subway tile by GIO
Big is in: Retro subway tile by GIO in 4″ x 16″

The latest spin that’s keeping subway tile on-trend is the larger format. These oversized tiles, as large as 4″ x 16″, transcend the ordinary and add subtle drama to any space. Long and linear subway tiles can visually expand the size of a room and as an added bonus, fewer grout joints mean less maintenance. If you’re looking to add an interesting twist to any design, go BIG!


GIO is your gateway to beautifully designed, strategically selected collections of floor and wall tile sure to fit your demanding specification requirements and unique style. We look forward to working with you!